A new tourist attraction made from a movable section of façade has opened at Chicago’s John Hancock Observatory, now known as 360 Chicago. Designed by engineering firm Thornton Tomasetti with Gensler serving as architect of record, Tilt is a 26-foot-wide platform that rotates 30 degrees outward to generate downward-facing views of the city from the 94th floor of the John Hancock Center.
The unit, fabricated and installed by high-rise façade specialist Cupples, comprises a stationary base connected to the existing steel structure and a viewing platform that uses three overhead hydraulic actuators to create the slow tilt. Visitors stand in one of eight individual partitions along the length of the platform. Layered reinforced glass forms the viewing window, as well as the partial roof for protection from the weather and debris.